At the Beginning and at the End

Resolutions are well and good but have a way of running off the road and into a ditch. What about, as an alternative, the cultivation of one positive habit? It does require a touch of discipline but no gyms or diets. Interested?

Sunset at Rancho La Zaca
Sunset on New Year's Eve at Rancho La Zaca, Los Olivos, California. Boy am I grateful to live here part time.

In searching for a message to share with you and to begin my own New Year with clarity, optimism, and inspiration, I found it in The Pocket Pema Chodron. The author is a beloved Buddhist nun and teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. Whenever I turn to this little treasury of short selections from Chodron’s many books, I always seem to find exactly what I need. Here it is:

At the Beginning and at the End

In the morning when you wake up, reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before going to sleep, think over what you’ve done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion.–from The Pocket Pema Chodron, edited by Eden Steinberg, Shambhala Publications, 2008.


  1. Frances

    On a similar note, one of the best books I read this year on planning was Patrick Lencioni’s book
    The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life (J-B Lencioni Series) by Patrick Lencioni (Hardcover – Sep 9, 2008). It is great and practical help in “staying on plan”. Happy New Year!

    1. So glad this resonated with you all…. David, looks like you cut yourself off, but I looked up Patrick Lencioni and his Three Signs of a Miserable Job. Sounds very much worth reading – I’m on it! Thanks – and I’d love to hear more about how you were affected by it.

  2. Frances, I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It was recommended to me by a mutual friend. I especially enjoyed today’s blog, and the one written on November 24, entitled “One Little Thing.” As grateful as I am and try to be, it is easy to lose sight of being grateful in the everyday pace of life. So, I wish to thank you for reminding me of the importance of this, and for sharing your own personal thoughts. I have also enjoyed reading your other blogs….which truly express in your writing your “joie de vivre!” Wish I could have had a bite of that super burger, too! Happy New Year!

    1. Candy, thank you and Happy New Year to you, too. That this matters or makes a difference even to one person on one day makes it worth doing. Blessings to you, dear friend, Frances

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